Gordhan: SA needs to deliver on growth to avoid downgrade

SA dodged cuts to its investment-grade rating earlier this year but could still slip into 'junk' status.

FILE: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa needs to deliver concrete results on economic growth in the next few months to avoid credit rating downgrades, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Tuesday.

Africa's most developed economy dodged cuts to its investment-grade rating by Moody's, Fitch and S&P earlier this year but could still slip into "junk" status in the coming months if the economic outlook deteriorates.

"Of course growth is not something you can click your fingers and deliver but rating agencies want to see we are doing enough," Gordhan said at a meeting with business leaders.

The International Monetary Fund last week cut its 2016 GDP growth forecast for South Africa to just 0.1 percent from the 0.6 percent it had last predicted in May.

The Treasury has a more optimistic forecast of 0.9 percent, while the central bank sees 0.6 percent expansion.

"If growth doesn't come through, we will have to make tough decisions in terms of expenditure," Gordhan said on Tuesday.